Last Saturday, the Stanford wrestling team defeated San Francisco State 28-11 on campus before falling 24-13 to CSU Bakersfield on the road the following day.
Though the Cardinal (6-15, 1-4 Pac-12) defeated the Gators (8-8, 2-2 Rocky Mountain Athletics) out of conference, the loss to the Roadrunners (8-5, 2-3 Pac-12) almost ensured that it would finish the season second-to-last in the six-team Pac-12 Conference. Should Cal Poly defeat Arizona State on Friday, the Mustangs could climb to tie with Stanford for fifth.
With a frustrating season behind it and the Pac-12 Championship starting in just over two weeks time, this weekend’s bout with No. 12 Central Michigan provides a crucial last chance to turn things around right at the end of the year. Not only are the Chippewas highly ranked, but they will also square off against Stanford’s in-conference rivals Cal Poly and CSU Bakersfield two days later.
The Cardinal overcame San Francisco State with an 8-2 decision, including a forfeit decision in the heavyweight class on Saturday. The wins came thanks to sophomore Brendan Ter Wee, with the forfeit decision, redshirt freshman Evan Silver, senior Timmy Boone, junior Garrett Schaner, junior Kyle Meyer, freshman Thomas Kimbrell, junior Alan Yen and redshirt freshman Michael Sojka.
Silver picked up his fourth major decision of the year and now leads the team with 24 wins on the season. Meyer also wrestled in the 165-pound category even though he only weighs in at 157 pounds, giving his teammate, junior Bret Baumbacha, a chance to rest.
In the loss to Bakersfield, Stanford lost six of the ten matches, including a default loss in the 133-pound class. The Cardinal victories came from junior Dan Scherer, Boone, Baumbach and Sojka. Baumbach took his fifth major decision of the year and has a 19-9 record on the season. Boone came back from trailing the Roadrunners’ redshirt junior Dalton Kelley in the third period to force four rounds of overtime and finally take the win.
Stanford will now host Central Michigan at Senior Day this Saturday. The Chippewas (12-3, 4-0 Mid-American) appear to be serious competition in the Cardinal’s last home bout of the season. CMU is on a six-contest winning streak, and hasn’t allowed the opposing team to score even double-figure points in its last three matchups.
The Chippewas are lead by senior Ben Bennett in the 184-pound weight class, who has a perfect 20-0 record so far this season, a No. 2 InterMat ranking and the top ranking in the Mid-American Conference. Central Michigan also has the No. 11 wrestler in the 125-pound class and the No. 7 in the 133-pound class, seniors Christian Cullinan and Scotti Sentes, respectively.
The bout between Stanford and Central Michigan will start at 12 p.m. PT at Burnham Pavilion and will be streamed live on the Pac-12 website.